Conscious Party: Muddy Sneakers’ 10th anniversary

NATURE BOYS: A trio of students connects with the outdoors through Muddy Sneakers. The Brevard-based education nonprofit celebrates its 10th anniversary on May 11 with a party at the Brevard Lumber Yard.
NATURE BOYS: A trio of students connects with the outdoors through Muddy Sneakers. The Brevard-based education nonprofit celebrates its 10th anniversary on May 11 with a party at the Brevard Lumber Yard. Photo by Capturing WNC Photography

WHAT: A party to benefit Muddy Sneakers

WHEN: Friday, May 11, 6-10 p.m.

WHERE: Brevard Lumber Yard, 170 King St.

WHY: A decade ago, following the publication of Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods, a small group of Brevard residents created Muddy Sneakers as a replicable model for partnering with public schools to bring students into the abundant natural resources in their backyards.

“Two schools in Transylvania County, Brevard and Pisgah Forest elementary schools, were the first to partner with Muddy Sneakers, eager to enrich their science programs and wanting to better connect their students to the outdoors,” says Anna Ewing, the nonprofit’s WNC administrative assistant. “Today, we are in 39 schools in 13 school districts across the state, serving over 2,700 students.”

Muddy Sneakers celebrates its 10th anniversary on Friday, May 11, with a party at the Brevard Lumber Yard. Each ticket includes nonalcoholic beverages, food by Blue Smoke BBQ and live music from Jeff Sipe’s Lotus Quintet. There will also be Oskar Blues Brewery beer, Bold Rock Hard Cider and regional wine available for purchase.

The event is a chance for the organization to gather its community supporters and partners to celebrate its roots and growth over the past decade. It will also be a night to recognize the individuals who founded the nonprofit, acknowledge and thank those whose hard work has brought Muddy Sneakers to its current status, and to outline its vision for the next 10 years.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of our partners in all these endeavors. From school partners, both teachers and administrators, to our land trust partners in both the private and public spheres, and to the state, which has given us critical appropriations over the past two years to grow across North Carolina,” Ewing says. “Without these vital relationships, we would not be where we are today.”

All proceeds from the anniversary celebration will go toward supporting existing Muddy Sneakers programming, including Camp Muddy Sneakers, its summertime day camp with offerings in Brevard, Hendersonville, Asheville and Rutherfordton.

Muddy Sneakers’ 10th anniversary party takes place Friday, May 11, 6-10 p.m. at the Brevard Lumber Yard, 170 King St. $25 adults/$10 kids ages 14 and under, free for ages 3 and under. muddysneakers.org

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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for ashevillemovies.com and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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